Parents are everything to us...and rightfully so, since their children are everything to them. For my family and many of us, our parents sacrificed and left whatever they knew to come to this country and then worked hard to give us a better life than they had.
At the same time, they were responsible for keeping family traditions, and sharing their values and the importance of life. In the end, even if having more made it easier for us, many big things never change from generation to generation, such as love, conflict, and death. And better quality of life never replaces a family's roots and traditions.
Growing up with a Mom and Dad who emigrated from Italy to come to New Jersey, I can really relate to what is being shared about James Gandolfini. He was a true Jersey Boy who lived life to its fullest and was on a journey to Italy with his son to explore their roots when his life was cut short. It was such a tragedy and our hearts go out to the entire Gandolfini family -- they have lost a wonderful person, who always stayed true to himself and where he came from.When thinking about, James Gandolfini, something he said resonated into some of my thoughts on this episode. When asked on Inside the Actors Studio how he coped with some of the dark scenes that he’s had to do in his career, he replied that for him, they definitely took a toll and it takes time to recover.
During this episode you can see that this is my turning point -- away from holding onto negative aspects of life and towards personal recovery. I realized that I had allowed the toxic nature of the relationship I had with my cousin Teresa take a toll on me for too long, and had not made any movement towards healing. I wasn’t happy behaving like someone that was not 100% me, and I was getting blamed for trying to help and constantly being held to a higher standard.
“Resentment costs you much and gives you nothing. Forgiveness costs you nothing and sets you free.” -Ralph Marston
I'm definitely pleased with the way I was able to diagnose and start to treat the symptoms of my broken relationship with Teresa...it is definitely a confidence builder and mood enhancer.
Congratulations to Albie and Chris on the opening of Little Town New Jersey, a restaurant that serves up all of your favorite Jersey specialties. I know Caroline and Albert are proud.
And how can we not respect how brave Melissa was to share those painful memories of her father, the man she adored, but then realized was not the kind of husband she would ever want -- how bittersweet for her, her mom, and her sisters. They must have had a hard time dealing with unresolved emotions. Thank God, they stuck together and have always been supportive to one another. Their strong sense of family and closeness is felt by all that come to know them. What I have taken away from this week’s events and the episode is: life isn't always about who has the most, who wins, or who is right. As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror with no regrets, have a chance to share events with those you love -- like celebrating the birthdays of Rich and Victoria -- and can still laugh until you cry, life is good!
Live, love, never stop learning and growing.
See you next week.
Lots of love,